This is the Summer Solstice or Midsummer, celebrated on June 21st. It is the summer solstice at its peak. Symbolically, this day represents solar power and strength and is celebrated when the sun reaches its zenith. Historically, it is the time to celebrate the Sun at his highest point. This is the longest day of the year, the greatest amount of daylight and symbol of life is abundance.
Derived from the The Coligny-Calendar, found in France at the end of the 19th century, The Coligny-Calendar is a compilation of pre-Christian Celtic systems of timekeeping, including the Gaulish Coligny calendar, used by Celtic countries to define the beginning and length of the day, the week, the month, the seasons, quarter days, and festivals. The Gaulish Coligny calendar is possibly the oldest Celtic solar/lunar ritual calendar. Evidence has shown that it was made under the auspices of the Druids, as it shows the Druidical belief in lucky and unlucky days. Each month is divided into a good half (marked “MAT” or auspicious) and a bad half (marked :ANM” inauspicious). The year was divided into a light half and a dark half. As the day was seen as beginning after sunset, so the year was seen as beginning with the arrival of the darkness, at Samhain. The arrival of the light half of the year started at Beltane. This observance of festivals beginning the evening before the festival day is still seen in the celebrations and folkloric practices among the Gaels, the Irish and the Scots.
In Old Europe, Litha was considered a fire festival. Still today, the ritual of lighting a wheel made of straw or wheels covered in pitch and then lit, would then be rolled down hills to signify the decent of the sun, the light and the season. It would also indicate the “letting go” of the longest day of the year.
The lighting of bonfires at the top of hills or highest points in the land, are also still popular today, as the lighting of the flame is the “start of the longest light”, especially when done on midsummer’s eve.
Metaphysically, it is a window into our own lives. This juxtaposition of light and dark, high and low energies, hot and cold weather, youth and old age are all qualities we must face in life and the understanding of and ways of coping with, can all be helpful in our journey from “sun up to our sun down”.
I have put together a host of “rituals” our ways to celebrate this Midsummers’ Eve and Summer Solstice. Try one or two to welcome in the newest season!
~ State a positive intention for your life. Light one or two candles. Say a little prayer of thanks or give thanks for all that you DO have in you life. Sit between the two candles and meditate or place them in your sacred space or meditation room.
~ Anoint yourself and/or others with a healing or cleansing oil such as sage, cedarwood, sweetgrass or lavender, rose or lemon.
~ Place 4 beautiful, large crystal tumblestones representing the “earth element” in a circle. They can be accompanied by peaceful music, incense or a prayer circle. I like using crystals to signfy the sun, or fire, earth and grounding, as well as the etheric quality of Midsummer such as red fairy (crackle) quartz, summer citrine, protective red jasper and midsummer moonstone! These are great for encircling your meditation space, altar or four corners of your room.
~ Cast herbs into a fire! Use a handful of your favorite herbs. Say a little prayer or state in intention or wish to come true and toss a handful of herbs into a fireplace, bonfire or on hot charcoal. Allow the herbs to burn and smolder as they wafting smoke takes your intentions out into the Universe and comeback to your three-fold!
~ Ring a Ritual Bell. This little bell should have a wonderful clear and high pitch jingle! Wonderful for ringing when you wish to bring in the new morning, a new intention or when saying prayers or starting a peaceful meditation!
These are all great ways to bring your positive thoughts and intentions to the forefront of your life!
Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit